Continuity expected under Marcos or Robredo presidencies
The next administration in the Philippines, should it be led by either Ferdinand Marcos Jr. or Vice President Leni Robredo, is expected to continue key Duterte policies including what is supposedly an aggressive infrastructure program.
Analysts at Singapore-based DBS Bank said in a commentary that “a decent degree of policy continuity is likely for the Philippines.”
Even then, the DBS team led by economist Han Teng Chua steered clear of predicting the winner of the May 9 elections.
Instead, they studied five previous presidential elections starting from 1992 and tried to find patterns that could help predict what happens to the economy in the several quarters before and after the polls.
Chua observed that the UniTeam coalition of Marcos and Sara Duterte commits to the incumbent’s avowed push for the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, improving digital infrastructure, fighting corruption as well as illegal drugs.
“The pair’s stance on public finances is, however, unclear,” Chua said.
Also, the economist described Robredo as being widely perceived to be market friendly.
“She favors transparency and accountability [and] also champions the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program but with an emphasis on private-public partnership,” Chua said.
“On public finances, she has acknowledged the country’s high borrowings driven by the pandemic, suggesting an intention to ensure debt sustainability, if she secures victory,” he added.
Based on the previous presidential elections, DBS observed that—on average—growth of the Philippine economy rose and peaked a quarter before elections and then trended lower after that.
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